Re: [gundam] Secret Missions of the One Year War


Mark Simmons (scorpio@best.com)
Mon, 5 Apr 1999 17:37:42 -0700


Probe writes,

> Cool! This was basically the first big push of the 'take back Earth'
>campaign by the Federation... this is what they'd been gearing up for and if
>they hadn't won this battle it pretty much would have been all over, eh?

  Yep, exactly - they would have lost a huge chunk of their forces and lost
their momentum.

> Kinda funny... The Zeons are supposedly supposed to be following Zeon's
>philosophy of leaving the Earth alone so it can heal itself... meanwhile they
>drop tons of troops and MS onto the Earth and immediately start strip-mining
>everything in sight for resources! Gee, idealistic aren't they?

  <grin> Exactly. Rather than leaving earth alone to heal itself, the Zeons
decided to strip-mine the planet for the immediate purpose of winning the
war. The notion that they invaded Earth to seize its resources, rather than
to target Federation military headquarters per se, explains a lot about the
subsequent course of the war.

> Wow, basically the big D-Day of the 1YW isn't it? You know, could you say
>that Zeon's fate was sealed once they`d been rooted out of Earth?

  Zeon's terrestrial forces certainly never recovered from the loss of
Odessa, but as General Kerane demonstrates in 08th MS Team, the prevailing
attitude among Zeon's leaders was that they'd reaped the benefits of six
months of uninterrupted resource-plundering and were confident that they
could beat the Federation in a space showdown... in effect, resetting the
state of affairs to how it was when the Antarctic Treaty was signed.

> You know, there's something I never understood: When Zeon basically ruled
>the surface, seas and skies of Earth before Operation Odessa... why weren't
>they hunting down and destroying all the fed bases and factories that they
>could? Or, is this the reason why so many Federation installations seem to be
>built deep underground, inside mountains or under glaciers, so the Zeons
>couldn't find them and shoot at them from orbit or from the air?

  A little of both. Certainly, Jaburo is impervious to just about anything
short of a colony drop. But more to the point, the Zeons weren't as
concerned with rooting out every two-bit Federation base as they were with
looting the Earth's resources to rebuild their war machine.

> That's an incredibly short battle considering the magnitude and importance
>of it. Did Ma Kube simply decide to hightail it outta there the moment the
>crap started hitting the fan?

  Well, after two days, yeah. As I mentioned, it's likely that a lot of the
fighting took place during the eight-pronged march on Odessa; the campaign
may well have been underway for weeks, and by the time the final battle
began, the course of events might have been pretty much determined. You'll
note that Ma Kube is already preoccupied with the Federation's advance at
the start of Gundam II.

> Wow! I was really hoping to see a few mothballed Big Trays coming out to
>take on the Zanscar's "Wheeled Warriors" in VG but unfortunately it was not to
>be! These things are basically giant hovercraft, right? I mean, they didn't
>have the M-Craft system back when _those_ things were built, right?

  Right. They're just battle hovercraft. :-)

> The battle was over too darned fast! Did they fight in Odessa in the
>original series?

  Yep, over the course of a couple days, in fact. This allowed for a couple
of fights with the Black Trinary and some general-purpose intrigue into the
bargain.

> Hrmm... I don't think I remember THOSE from the series, what did the Dabte's
>look like?

  You see some of them at Ma Kube's headquarters in Gundam II.

> Now, it would have been nice to see in 8MST some battles between Zakus and
>Type-61s!

  That's part of the charm of Giren's Greed. ;-)

> That is a LONG LONG march to get to the battlefield! You'd think the Zeons
>would have gotten ALOT of warning that the Feds were coming! Curiously, they
>don't seem to fight too well on the ground!

  One presumes that the Federation forces could have been airlifted in, at
leats part of the way.

> Winter Camoflauge? Cool! I take it that the cannons that the GM-Cannons were
>carrying were used against installations and stuff like that? (Doesn't seem to
>be a very good anti-MS weapon).

  The idea is that you mix in a GM Cannon with a team of regular GMs,
giving the team some long-range firepower. As such, they're said to have
been remarkably effective, especially in ground combat.

> These were the Zak-K's right? What ARE those hip-mounted launchers they
>carry?

  More firepower, basically. The Zaku Cannon is supposed to be an
anti-aircraft unit for base defense, but given the positioning of these
rocket launchers, they seem more useful for fighting off ground targets.
They could be "go away, tank!" weapons...

> SO the Zeon's basically pulled a Leningrad against the Federation, eh?

  What, you mean some kind of continual retreat to wear down the enemy? If
so, it didn't work, though both Ma Kube and Yuri Kerane tried a sort of
scorched-earth measure at Odessa.

>Did
>Jaburo fight back with GMs and stuff, or was it simply so heavily fortified
>that the Zeons couldn't blast through it while they were getting pummelled by
>fixed-fire weapons?

  Some of everything. Once Char located the Jaburo ship entrances, he
called in an airstrike from the California base, with a flock of Gows
bombing the surface and dropping mobile suits onto the base. Only about
two-thirds of the mobile suits made it to the ground, and they were
eventually defeated in a pitched battle within the base (with the aid of
some early-model GMs). In the TV series, Char's attempt to sneak into the
base and plant bombs is a follow-up Plan B tactic; in the movie, he does it
while the base is distracted by the aerial assault.

> Where we meet up with them again in 0083! How convenient! Though it seems
>like the Zeons finally surrender and give up after Gato launches (nice touch),
>though one must wonder... what have these guys been EATING after three years
>living inside a mountain mine?

  Actually, there are lots more still in hiding. In ZZ, dozens more Zeon
holdouts come out of the woodwork when the Neo Zeons occupy Dakar.

> I guess it makes sense that the Zeons would drum up local opposition to the
>Feds and try to portray themselves as 'liberators' wherever they could, and it
>makes alot of sense that the African contigent of the terrestrial forces would
>fight for so long, after all, they're the ones who _really_ have no home to go
>back to!

  Exactly. The African forces were made up of Federation defectors,
sympathetic spacenoids who joined the Zeon military around the start of the
war, and probably some locals who resented the Federation for their own
reasons. As you might guess, these guys held out a lot longer than the
"true" Zeons elsewhere on the planet.

>On the other hand, it was probably very easy for the Zeon military to
>'abandon' the indigenes down on Earth (they're not REAL Spacenoids after all!)

  Very likely...

-- Mark

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Mark Simmons <mailto:scorpio@best.com>
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